The European Union’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) will enter its “preparation phase” on Nov. 1. 

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Fast Facts

  • The preparation phase will lay the foundation for a potential digital euro by finalizing the rulebook and selecting infrastructure developers, the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) said on Wednesday.
  • Two years from Nov. 1, the Governing Council is set to determine whether to proceed to the next phase of its digital euro project.
  • The preparation phase follows a two-year investigation phase, which examined the design and distribution of a CBDC.
  • The ECB has said it envisions the digital euro as a digital form of cash that is widely available for payments across the euro area, free for basic use and available for both online and offline payments. 
  • The central bank claimed that a euro-based CBDC would also offer the “highest level of privacy” and instant payment settlement.
  • The European Commission released the draft bill for the digital euro at the end of June.

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